Entering Montreal to complete a series of four consecutive road games Washington met a Canadiens squad off to an impressive start to the season. Montreal continued their strong play and clawed their way to a come from behind to 4 win over Washington.
Here’s Thursday night’s Plus/Minus:
Plus: Lars Eller had a great performance in another return to his second NHL city. Eller ended the night with two goals, three shots, and pair of penalty minutes in 14:21 TOI.
Minus: Washington was unable to match Montreal’s start to each period. Before the first and second frames were four minutes old the Capitals were facing a three goal deficit.
Ten more notes on the game.
- Early in the first frame the Canadiens grabbed the lead courtesy of Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s first career NHL goal. Joel Armia setup the play at the offensive blue line, dishing the puck to Kotkaniemi before he ripped it home high short side.
- Washington, however, would respond less than four minutes later. Strong offensive zone work from Eller allowed Matt Niskanen an unobstructed shot from just above the left faceoff circle. Carey Price was unable to contain his rebound and Eller sniffed it out before stuffing it into the net on his backhand.
- Montreal would put themselves ahead again early in the second period. A series of bounces through the slot ended up on Tomas Tatar’s stick and he whipped a pass through the crease to Brendan Gallagher, who buried it.
- And Gallagher would extend the Canadiens lead to two shortly after. Once again Tatar provided the primary assist, allowing Gallagher to slip a sneaky backhanded shot between Holtby’s right side and the nearside post.
- The Capitals’ Captain would respond a little more than three minutes later. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Oveckin worked a two against one to perfection with the latter firing home a high and hard snapshot.
- Eller tallied seventy seconds after Ovechkin to draw the contest even once again. A kick pass from Brett Connolly was slammed home by Eller, his third goal of the year.
- To end a high scoring second period Ovechkin bullied himself to the front of the net and positioned himself for a screen. While occupying space above the crease he knocked a Dmitry Orlov point shot up and over Price’s glove with his own arm for the 4 to 3 lead.
- Midway through the third period Max Domi had a wide open chance to tie the game but a poor shot hit Holtby’s right pad and deflected away harmlessly. The Canadiens’ offense began to come to life though.
- With only four minutes left in regulation Kotkaniemi buried his second of the contest to draw Montreal even at four. Bell Centre was awake and momentum shifted Montreal’s way.
- Domi would then score the game winner with 22 seconds to play. Racing down the left wing his shot bounced off of Holtby’s glove and into the cage for the dagger. Armia would add an empty net goal a few seconds later to complete the contest’s scoring.